Tag:Ben Tate
Posted on: August 15, 2010 1:03 pm
 

Ben Tate most critical rookie loss so far

The physical nature of the game means that there will always be injuries. Considering that they are making the greatest jump in talent of their lives, often the players most susceptible to injury are rookies.

Despite the hype of the draft, only a small portion of rookies are expected by their respective clubs to provide a true immediate and consistent impact.

The Houston Texans, however, were certainly hoping to gain exactly that from second round pick Ben Tate.

Unfortunately, after only his second carry of the game -- a 12 yard burst on the Texans' first drive of the second half -- Tate suffered a severe lower leg injury and had to be carted off the field.

The injury, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter) is believed to be a broken ankle , which would end Tate's season.

The Texans had hoped that Tate would solidify a running game that has struggled with inconsistency throughout the franchise's nine-year history. Veterans Arian Foster and Steve Slaton had most recently flashed in a starting role for Houston, but in investing the No. 58 overall choice in Tate, clearly Gary Kubiak and his staff were hoping the former Auburn star would provide some consistency to the position.

Unfortunately, there have already been some ugly injuries to highly-drafted rookies. The Ravens and Giants may have lost their second and third round picks, OLB Sergio Kindle and S Chad Jones for the year (and more) with scary off-field incidents. The Jaguars lost third round DT D'Anthony Smith to an Achilles tear. Tennessee lost undrafted free agent running back Stafon Johnson to an dislocated ankle just last night.

None of these players, however, were in Tate's position to compete for a prominent role immediately.
Posted on: July 29, 2010 9:52 pm
 

Tebow signs the headline; LBs the real story

July 29, 2010 may someday be recognized in pro football annals as the day that Tim Tebow officially entered the NFL by signing his first-round contract with the Denver Broncos, but several other rookies who signed today will almost certainly make a bigger impact as a rookie -- though few, nationally, will recognize the importance of their deals.

Fellow first round picks Rolando McClain (Oakland) and Sean Weatherspoon (Atlanta) each signed their contracts today. Despite the fact that McClain (No. 8 overall) and Weatherspoon (No. 19 overall) were each selected higher than Tebow and will almost certainly see the field in a more substantive role sooner than the former Florida superstar, only fans of the Raiders and Falcons, respectively, are likely to be giving the signings much thought.

And that is a mistake.

McClain's signing continues a surprisingly effective off-season for the Raiders. His selection with the No. 8 overall pick was lauded on draft day as a coup for the shabby run-defending team. Now, by signing McClain on the day the team's training camp workouts officially begin, they are giving the reigning Butkus Award winner a chance to help immediately.

Weatherspoon's deal is just as important given that the Falcons, like the Raiders, enjoyed a strong off-season and appear to be on the verge of breaking into the upper echelon of the NFL. The addition of free agent cornerback Dunta Robinson gives the team the shut-down cornerback they've been missing to pair with pass rusher John Abraham and young star linebacker Curtis Lofton. With Weatherspoon's speed and playmaking ability, the combination of he and Lofton should give the Falcons as athletic a duo of young linebackers as there is in the league -- a critical advantage considering the team has to contend with Drew Brees and the explosive New Orleans' offense in the NFC South division.
 
One could even make the argument that Miami signing outside linebacker Koa Misi, Houston signing running back Ben Tate or even the Kansas City Chiefs signing offensive guard Jon Asamoah will end up being at least equally as important to their club's 2010 success as Tebow.

But then again, Tebow is the headline. Everyone else makes up just the details.

So, what else is new?
Posted on: March 1, 2010 12:54 pm
 

Ben Tate deserves a closer look

Ben Tate has a legitimate gripe about not getting more national attention.

With all of the attention heaped upon Mark Ingram, Dexter McCluster and Anthony Dixon, few around the country realize how effective he was for the Tigers this season. His 1,362 yards in 2009 were the fourth highest single-season-total in Auburn history.

And remember... Auburn has quite the history of running backs (Bo Jackson, Cadillac Williams, James Brooks, Stephen Davis, Ronnie Brown, etc.)

Tate is once again likely to be overlooked, as the talking heads will be talking more about CJ Spiller and Jahvid Best's speed than anything else in the days following the running back workouts. However, look at what he accomplished in Indianapolis:

Bench Press: #1 of all RB's; 26 Reps of 225 lbs
Broad Jump: #1 of all RB's; 10'4"
Vertical Jump: #2 of all RB's; 40'5"
40 Yard Dash: #3 of all RB's; 4.43 seconds

Tate seemed to predict his success in an interview with the Opelika Auburn News a few days before his strong workout at the Combine.

 “There’s nothing more important than what you do on the field,” Tate said. “But if there’s someone close to you who has similar numbers and you all are being seen as equal-type players, these numbers you put up at the combine can make a big difference. “They can leapfrog you over a couple guys that are almost the same type of running back.”

Considering his production at the Combine, as well as the more important numbers he put up when in a system that fit his downhill rushing style with the Tigers, Tate should be rising up draft boards.

Posted on: October 10, 2009 12:58 pm
Edited on: October 10, 2009 1:32 pm
 

Oklahoma State OT Okung in the crosshairs

There are a litany of intriguing games to scout on this morning, but after watching and being disappointed with Oklahoma left tackle Trent Williams, I am anxious to review his fellow Big 12 linemate, Russell Okung , almost universally rated as the elite offensive tackle of the 2010 draft class. The 6-5, 305 pounder earned First Team Big 12 honors last season -- not a feat to be looked over considering the presence of Jason Smith, Phil Loadholt and Williams.

Okung and Oklahoma State are playing at Texas A&M this morning. While I'll be keeping tabs on prospects from several other games throughout the morning, I'll be focusing on the prospects in this contest, especially Okung, for the early slate of games.

If noteworthy, Okung is a likely candidate for mention in this week's Draft Slant.

The current issue, on sale here , featured USC tight end Anthony McCoy as the Player of the Week, Western Illinois cornerback Patrick Stoudamire, Jr. as the diamond in the rough and eight other prospects that caught my eye.

Those eight include:

Oklahoma OT Trent Williams
Georgia DT Jeff Owens
South Florida FS Nate Allen
Notre Dame OT Sam Young
Boston College C Matt Tennant
Louisiana Tech DT D'Anthony Smith
Auburn RB Ben Tate
Tennessee RB Montario Hardesty


 
 
 
 
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